Brits unable to focus on life priorities

The findings of the Scottish Widows' second annual Priorities of Life Index are in line with last year's concerns, confirming that individuals and families are feeling no more able to balance their various commitments in life.

Financial priorities feature almost as strongly as last year. 18 million people say they are unable to save enough (38% 2011 vs 39% 2010), while a similar number fear they are neglecting their overall financial security as the economic downturn continues to bite (35% 2011 vs 36% 2010).

Overall, the nation's most neglected priority is still health. Just under half of people (45%) complain they are unable to take as much exercise as they feel they should, and nearly four in ten people (38%) are concerned about overlooking their health in general. These concerns have remained at similar levels (45% and 40% respectively) to those reported in Scottish Widows' first Priorities of Life Index, which was published a year ago in the immediate wake of recession.

The index confirms that people's home life continues to take a backseat, with 19 million people feeling unable to commit enough time to their partners, 31% craving more time with friends, and more than 10 million parents and grandparents worried they are not making enough time for their kids or grandchildren.

And reflecting the continuing economic uncertainty, almost two in five people (37%) feel they are unable to focus enough on their job security, with the same proportion concerned they are not devoting the time needed to progress in their career.

Iain McGowan, savings expert at Scottish Widows said: "We remain in difficult times, with Brits are still unable to give their health, wealth or home life as much priority as they would like.

“Although it can seem daunting, taking the first steps towards improving your financial outlook is vital in getting control of other areas of your life.

“And if you can see a financial adviser, then I recommend doing so; not just for the potential long-term financial benefits, but also for the peace of mind in having a plan in place for your financial future."